Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo will win Ballon d'Or - Roberto Carlos

Cristiano Ronaldo is in pole position to win the Ballon d'Or, former Real Madrid teammate Roberto Carlos and ex-Portugal colleague Simao Sabrosa have said.

Ronaldo, 31, has been tipped for a fourth career win since Madrid lifted last season's Champions League and Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016.

Others in contention include five-time previous winner Lionel Messi, his Barcelona colleagues Neymar and Luis Suarez and Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann.

But Roberto Carlos, now an ambassador for Madrid, told Mundo Deportivo: "[Ronaldo] has it at home already."

Ronaldo has been in relatively subdued form so far this season, but the former Brazil star said he would soon be back to his best.

"He has taken time to get back to being himself after the knee injury [suffered at Euro 2016]," he added. "But from here on he will be the Cristiano we all know."

Former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid winger Simao told Marca Ronaldo's achievements in 2016 meant he deserved the award.

"[Cristiano] has won it many times already, but while he keeps playing he will always fight to win it," he said.

"He has a big chance to win this year, but while Messi and [Ronaldo] are playing there will always be the same conversation.

"Cristiano has had a good season, but the Ballon d'Or is also decided in the last months. But for all that Cristiano has done, he deserves it."

A split between France Football and FIFA means this year's Ballon d'Or will be voted on exclusively by journalists, with national team coaches and captains no longer involved.

A 30-man shortlist is reportedly to be announced on Oct. 25, with the winner to be named before the end of December. This means there will be no shortlist of three players in advance.